First-time psychiatric disorders could develop from COVID-19, study reveals

A study of millions of patient health records suggests that one in 17 people who have coronavirus could be diagnosed with the following psychiatric disorders, anxiety, depression and insomnia for the first time.

Researchers say this is around twice the risk from other disorders.

Additionally, they found that patients with existing psychiatric disorders were 65 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19, which could correlate with their physical health or the prescribed drugs they use to treat their mental health disorders.

Nonetheless, the Oxford research team states that these patients should receive the appropriate care for their treatment. However, they have suddenly stopped asking psychiatric disorder sufferers to think of themselves as extremely vulnerable and to shield.

The study’s lead author, Psychiatry Professor Paul Harrison from the University of Oxford, says that people who have had coronavirus “will be at greater risk of mental health problems”, whether they were admitted to a hospital or not.

To carry out this study, the researchers tracked 62,000 sufferers of COVID-19 for three months, after their diagnosis, and compared their results with thousands of people who suffered other conditions, such as the flu and broken bones.

From this, 18 per cent of people with COVID-19 were diagnosed with a psychiatric illness. 5.8 per cent of these had not been diagnosed with a related disorder before.

Whereas, out of all those with the flu, 13 per cent developed a mental health disorder. 2.8 per cent of these had not been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness before.

Lastly, 12.7 per cent of people with fractures were diagnosed with a psychiatric illness. 2.5 per cent of these had not been diagnosed with a related disorder before.

Anxiety was the most common diagnosis out of the disorders, which adjustment disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder fall under. A somewhat less common illness was mood disorder.

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